US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) complete rules on Cuba.
In December 2014 President Obama greatly expanded legal Cuba travel opportunities for Americans. On January 16, 2015 his Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued regulations allowing nearly every American to visit Cuba without applying for a license. Legal Cuba Travel provides a summary of the new travel Cuba rules.
- People-to-people educational exchanges in Cuba – open to everyone
- Professional research or attending professional meetings in Cuba relating to the traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise
- Educational activities for university, college and secondary school faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff can visit Cuba to research and prepare for student trips
- Participation in public performances, clinics, workshops, exhibitions, and athletic and other competitions
- Religious and humanitarian activities and projects in Cuba
- Any kind of support for the Cuban people by human rights organizations; or by individuals or NGOs for purposes such as to aid civil society, etc.
- Activities by private foundations or research or educational institutes with an established interest in international relations to collect information related to Cuba
- Visiting a relative or family member in Cuba
- Business visits for export and import of informational materials, telecommunications and internet hardware and services; and export of agricultural and medical products as well as others items such as tools, equipment and construction supplies
- Journalistic activities in Cuba, official US government business, and visits to Cuba by foreign diplomatic staff and NGOs residing in the US
If you fit into one of these categories you are automatically authorized to visit Cuba legally without having to apply for a license. You simply arrange travel and go to the island.
US visitors are required to engage in full time itinerary activities related to the above categories of travel.
People-to-people educational exchanges can only be arranged by an organization based in the United States. All other categories of travel can be provided by a US agency or one based in another country.
There is no limit on the amount of money you can spend in Cuba. Travelers can use US credit and debit cards in Cuba (this facility will be in place after May 2015).
Travelers can return to the US with up to $400 of Cuban goods for personal use, including up to $100 of alcohol or tobacco products. Cuban artwork and informational materials are exempt from this limit.
Purely touristic travel such as stays at all-inclusive beach resorts as remains prohibited.
If you have any question about these regulations please feel free to talk with one of our Cuba travel advisors at 1-888-965-5647, or email or chat with us online.